There once was a ladybird, with a shiny red wings and perfectly round black polka dots. They were perfect, or so she had been told when she was young. Having been separated from her mum at an early age, she could not compare herself to anyone she knew, and as she grew older, she began to doubt herself. If she was so perfect, why she was having to make her way through each day alone, staying busy and productive – yes; moving from flower to shrub – without doubt; observing and learning her way through every day – definitely; but all without knowing if she was doing everything right the way a ladybird should? She grew more and more worried, and afraid of what she wasn’t doing that she should be doing, but mostly she felt very much alone. Who to ask? 

One day she met a grasshopper in her travels. She did not know whether to trust this grasshopper, he was so different from her and she was so unlike him. What would he say to someone who did not look like him or see the world as he did. After all, she flew, he hopped. Big difference. But she had to know and had to ask. So, she approached him cautiously until he noticed her and looked up with what looked like kindly eyes. 

She said, “Mr Grasshopper, I need to know something, and I think you can perhaps help me. Am I perfect?”. He tilted his head to one side in studied contemplation for a minute, and then said with a smile “Why, yes you are perfect in my eyes!”. This greatly surprised her, because she secretly had expected him to confirm that she was not perfect, and so solve this riddle once and for all. To say she was even more perplexed and confused now would be an understatement! She had to know more! 

“But how do you know I’m perfect? How can you tell? You’re a grasshopper, I’m a ladybird. We have nothing in common. How could you know that I’m being the best ladybird I can be? I’m so worried I’m letting everyone down, so I need to know the truth, as this is greatly affecting me.” 

“My child”, he said kindly, “You’re here, aren’t you? You’re flying with those perfect wings, and you’re living a purposeful life and you are part of this wonderful field of flowers and grasses. Child, look around you – can you see what else is in this field?”. She blinked, a little unsure of what she was looking for. But then she saw it – the field was teeming with insects, hundreds of them. Some flew, some hopped, some crawled, and each one was so very different; she could even see a few ladybirds in the distance!!! How could she have not seen this before? 

“I’m not alone then!” the ladybird said with joy in her heart. “No, you are never alone my child” the grasshopper said. “All you need to do is look around you and see yourself as I see you. How could I judge you when your day and mine is so different? Yet I know you are perfect because you are doing what you are meant to do. We each have a different job to do, and different skills, and abilities, but in the end we are all doing our best with what we have, and in this way we are all the same and equally perfect. Don’t you see child? It is your uniqueness, and your heart that matters – you are, and always will be, perfect because of who you are. We are all perfect, even though we are all different. And yet we all belong to this wonderful field. My child, you need never feel alone again, all you have to do is look up and believe that everyone is as they are meant to be, including yourself.” 

The ladybird thanked the grasshopper and flew off joyously and with a spring in her take off as she headed towards a fellow ladybird to say hello! She no longer felt alone, and she never doubted herself again.